OBEDIENT PLANT Physostegia virginiana

OBEDIENT PLANT Physostegia virginiana

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Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant, obedience, or false dragonhead) is native to North America, where it is distributed from eastern Canada to northern Mexico. Physostegia are known commonly as obedient plants because a flower pushed to one side will often stay in that position.

It is a rhizomatous perennial herb producing clumps of erect, stems 2 to 4 feet tall. It has long, dense spikes of lipped "snapdragon-like" flowers in the summer. It is a good plant for adding late-season flowers to a garden, and flowers last for many weeks. Plants grow well in the sun or and is one of the limited perennials that bloom well despite full .

Type: Hardy perennial

Height: 3', 36", 90 cm

Location: Does equally well in sun or

Hardiness zones: 4-9

Seeds per pack: 20

Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds benefit from a period of moist cold to help them begin to grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:

Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container at room temperature for 2 weeks (they will not grow yet), and then place them in a clear plastic bag (to retain moisture), and in a refrigerator for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container back at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period. They require some patience, but are well worth the effort!

These seeds can also be planted in a cold frame outdoors in very early spring, while the temperatures are still cold and fluctuating, as long as you are able to keep the soil consistently moist. They will still need several weeks to germinate.

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